Quarterly Report - Data Quality (England), July 2024

The purpose of the National Oesophago-Gastric Cancer Audit (NOGCA) is to evaluate the patterns of care and outcomes for patients with oesophageal or gastric cancer in England and Wales, and to support services to improve the quality of care for these patients.

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Quarterly Report (Data Quality), July 2024

This is the first report since the audit transitioned to using cancer data that is already routinely collected by NHS trusts. It provides an overview of the quality of key data items captured in the rapid cancer registration data for people diagnosed in NHS trusts in England with oesophageal or gastric cancer between 1st January 2023 and 31st of December 2023, at NHS trust and Cancer Alliance levels. A high-level summary of patient characteristics is also provided at NHS trust and Cancer Alliance levels.

This first quarterly report, and the next one due to be published in October, focus on data quality. The subsequent quarterly reports will report on performance indicators relevant to oesophago-gastric cancer. These first quarterly reports on data quality are intended to highlight to Trusts where data submissions to the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD) could be improved to enable better reporting on performance indicators in the future.

Please note that data for Wales are not available on a quarterly basis at this time.

Why have we focused on data completeness?

We have initially focused on data completeness as this aspect of data quality underpins what we can reliably and robustly report as an audit. In England, NATCAN receives information from the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS), part of the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS), NHS England. NDRS collects patient-level data from all NHS acute providers on people with cancer using a range of national data-feeds. This includes the Cancer Registration datasets and the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD). COSD data are submitted to the NDRS on a monthly basis via Multidisciplinary Team electronic data collection systems.

Data sources used in this report:

For this quarterly report, NOGCA utilised data from the Rapid Cancer Registration Dataset (RCRD). This is the first time this data has been reported on for NOGCA. This dataset is compiled mainly from COSD records and is made available more quickly than the complete cancer registration dataset. However, the speed of production means that the range of data items is limited and several standard data items in the complete registration dataset are unavailable. It also does not have complete coverage of all patients diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancer in England during the reporting period. For more information regarding the RCRD, including the data dictionary, visit the RCRD webpage maintained by NHS England.

This report allocates records to NHS organisations based on the “trust at diagnosis” recorded within the RCRD dataset.

We encourage all provider teams to review their data completeness and make improvements as this will increase the number of patients we can include in analyses and increase the range of analyses we can conduct. By focusing exclusively on data completeness for this report, we are aiming to shine a spotlight on areas where improvements are needed.

What should a trust do if their data completeness is below target levels?

NDRS has regional Data Liaison Managers who support NHS teams submitting cancer data to NDRS with advice and support on data improvement initiatives. We encourage trusts to get in touch with this team for support and advice. Contact details are found here.